Higher Quality Headmaster, Interns Fall Previews Available

Not all of the video material I use here at Television Obscurities is of the best quality to begin with. I’m not an expert on digitizing and encoding video, and I’m sure that makes an impact on the overall quality as well. But I try to use the highest quality material I have access to. I’ve been able to find higher quality videos of the fall previews for both The Headmaster and The Interns and replaced the very poor quality ones I had available before.

I don’t plan on making a habit of this, partly because it is time consuming but mostly because the increase in quality is rarely as dramatic as it is in this case. The original videos were almost unwatchable, very faded and washed out. These new videos are much clearer. For the sake of comparison, here are stills from the original videos:

10 Replies to “Higher Quality Headmaster, Interns Fall Previews Available”

  1. I appreciate the effort, ‘RGJ’. These promos are SO rare, most people probably assume their visual images looked “terrible” when first telecast, without realizing the age of the film, the initial transfer to videotape, and so on.

    In the case of “THE HEADMASTER”, CBS had SO much confidence that Andy’s new series [in the fall of 1970] was going to be as successful as his previous one, they allowed him to “pitch” it directly to viewers without using ANY footage from the pilot episode. But viewers didn’t want to see “this” Andy…why should they, when they could comfort themselves seeing “Sheriff Andy Taylor” in repeats on their own local stations every day (or evening)? The same thing happened to Robert Young when he tried to compete against “himself” in “WINDOW ON MAIN STREET” during the 1961-’62 season, while “FATHER KNOWS BEST” repeats were still airing in prime-time on the same network [unlike Andy, enough time had passed for Young to successfully create another “beloved image” with viewers- as “MARCUS WELBY, M.D.”; Griffith would have his own “resurgence” in the ’80s, as “MATLOCK”].

    “THE INTERNS”, based on the 1962 Columbia theatrical film (and its 1964 sequel, “THE NEW INTERNS”), appeared just before “THE HEADMASTER” on Fridays at 7:30pm(et). It, too, failed to connect with viewers because it tried to be too “relevant”, as Andy’s series was. It was supposed to be the equivalent of ABC’s “THE MOD SQUAD”, substituting young doctors and nurses for young cops. It’s noted today only as Mike Farrell’s first weekly series…and Broderick Crawford’s last.

  2. Also regarding “Headmaster”, when it became obvious that viewers were not really interersted in the “new and relevant” Andy, the attempt to backtrack and return with the folksy “New Andy Griffith Show” proved that you can’t go home again.

    As for “The Interns” and also “The Storefront Lawyers”, I jokingly refer to this as “CBS attempts to do ABC”.

  3. I was quite frustrated when I got my hands on a copy of the 1970 CBS fall preview special and discovered that there was no actual footage from The Headmaster in the fall preview for that show. As far as I know, there are no episodes of The Headmaster circulating amongst private collectors (The Paley Center for Media has one episode) so I had hoped the fall preview would provide a glimpse at what the series looked like.

  4. It’s interesting that after “Headmaster” and “The New Andy Griffith Show” failed, Andy headed over to ABC for 2 failed attempts at series television. His ill-fated “Adams Of Eagle Lake” (portraying a slightly-folksy Sheriff in a resort community) series only produced a pilot (titled “Winterkill”), and only filmed 2 one-hour episodes that were eventually burned off. Next, ABC tried the “urban Andy” in a failed pilot titled “The D. A.”, where he portrayed tough prosecutor Gus Brenner.

    After these ABC failures, in 1977, NBC tried to return to the “folksy Andy”, with his 2 failed pilots portraying small-town police chief Abel Marsh.

    Then it was back to ABC, where his Salvage 1 series was mid-season replacement that got renewed for a fall 1979 season, but was cancelled after only 2 episodes had aired. Staying with ABC, he replaced Eddie Albert (who had appeared in the pilot) for another long-forgotten show that only ran a few episodes called “The Yeagers”.

  5. Have you notice when stars get their first TV shows named after themselves it makes it that much harder to move onto another series?

  6. Well, look at Bob Newhart: he had TWO TV shows with his full name in the title: his 1961-’62 comedy/variety show on NBC {an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning failure}, and his legendary 1972-’78 CBS sitcom. Then, “NEWHART” (1982-’90)- and then, “BOB” (1992-’93)….and “GEORGE & LEO” (1997-’98), his most recent.

  7. There was hardly anything that CBS could have put on during those time periods anyway that would have motivated me to change the channel. Both NBC and ABC had the whole night locked up between “THE BRADY BUNCH” and “THE HIGH CHAPARRAL”.

    Andy had the misfortune of trying to go up against “THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY” and “THE NAME OF THE GAME”. Singing teen idols or action heroes vs a show about a high school principal? No contest!

  8. ‘Headmaster’ didn’t do all that bad in the Nielsens. It opened big with a 21.4HH/40%, and thereafter fell off, but maintained a ranking in the 35th to 45th range in the weeklies through the fall. It finished the fall with a 17.2HH/31%.

    I remember the problem with ‘Headmaster’ was that Mr. Andy Griffith just seemed so darned uncomfortable compared to his Mayberry days. You have to remember that CBS that fall was trying to introduce “relevancy” into all their programs, largely a response to the unexpected monster hit that ‘The Mod Squad’ had become for ABC. They cast Mr. Griffith with a co-ed cast of high schoolers straight out of Room 222, and these kids had all sorts of “relevant” social problems (drugs, sex, parents that didn’t get it, etc.), and to Mr. Griffith, this sure were ain’t Mayberry.

    ‘The New Andy Griffith Show’ sent Mr. Griffith back down south again for another small town rural show, just in time for Mr. Silverman’s rural purge of CBS, which coincided with the FCC-mandated return of 3.5 hours of network time to affiliates in the fall of 1971.

    ‘Headmaster’ had been an early attempt to re-cast a star of a rural-based/western programs into a more urban/suburban updated mileu. Post the purging of all the rural-oriented series, Mr. Silverman did attempt to build new urban/suburban-based series around some of the other stars from the Tiffany rural heyday…Mr. Buddy Ebsen in ‘Barnaby Jones’, Mr. Eddie Albert in ‘Switch’, Mr. William Conrad in ‘Cannon’ were a few examples.

  9. …and it was Fred Silverman’s production company that convinced Andy to “reinvent” himself as “MATLOCK” (on NBC) in the mid-’80s.

  10. “Headmaster” was a dreadful show. I remember the excitement about Andy Griffith coming back to TV, and then the disappointment when the show turned out to be so terribly lame. That’s the reason for the big numbers of the first episode and the subsequent drastic drop… people watched it because they liked Andy, but they hated the show. “The Interns” was pretty crappy too, but it least it had Broderick Crawford and Mike Ferrell. An interesting footnote to “Headmaster” is that the theme song was sung by Linda Ronstadt, and has supposedly never been released in any form. But as I remember, it was the best thing about the show.
    “The New Andy Griffith Show” was, if anything, worse than “Headmaster,” and for the opposite reason… it was too obvious an attempt to remake his old show. Don Knotts even guested in one episode. If I recall correctly, Lee Meriwether played his wife… one of the only good things about the show.

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